Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden edged out President Donald Trump in viewership of their dueling town hall meetings held simultaneously Thursday on different networks, ratings show.
According to Nielsen ratings, Biden's town hall on ABC averaged 14.1 million television viewers, compared with about 13.5 million who tuned in to watch Trump's town hall on NBC. That includes those who watched the event on MSNBC and CNBC.
Those numbers don't include viewers who watched the events live streamed to phones, computers and other devices. However, the two networks' YouTube channels also showed an advantage for Biden, with 507,445 viewers at the end of Biden's town hall and 153,660 at the end of Trump's town hall, Newsweek reported.
NBC drew criticism for scheduling its town hall at the same time as ABC's previously scheduled event. The network said its decision was a matter of fairness. Democrats called for a boycott of NBC's coverage.
The ratings results came as a surprise to some. Jason Miller, Trump's senior campaign adviser, predicted before the events that Trump would draw a "much bigger audience than Joe."
Trump often touts TV ratings, including after the first presidential debate in September, when Trump tweeted, "HIGHEST CABLE TELEVISION RATINGS OF ALL TIME. SECOND HIGHEST OVERALL TELEVISION RATINGS OF ALL TIME. Some day these Fake Media Companies are going to miss me, very badly!!!"